Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 03:09 pm

Posted by karen

I have had a crack in one of my back molars for years.  This didn’t seem to be causing a problem but my dentist told me that it needed to be capped and not just filled.  At the start of that appointment my tooth wasn’t sore, but once the dentist had finished exploring with a drill that was no longer true.  He also wasn’t able to cap the tooth as he suspected I need a root canal treatment.

Having the root canal took two appointments with an endodontist as I apparently have tiny narrow bendy root canals that needed widened.  It was not a pleasant experience.  My mouth is small, my teeth are large, and my jaw doesn’t stay open wide enough.  It involved having a block jammed into my mouth to keep it open, and lots of drills and long pointing things.  The worst part is not the pain, it’s not knowing what is happening or how long it will take.  There are so many scary looking instruments and the smell of burning didn’t help.  The anesthetic also made me feel shaky and queasy.

Now I need to arrange more appointments to have the cap put on.  The endodentist suggested that I leave it for a week to give myself a break from mouth pain.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 12:10 am
The winner for first class to write home asking for help with Will: Social Studies!

Mitigating factors: he is sick with a cold this week; he hasn't been sleeping well; it's his first class of the day.

The good news so far: he's only struggling to complete his work in that one class, according to his aide. After social studies, he has P.E. and Math; the rest of his classes are after lunch.

Anxiety levels through the roof as the social studies teacher said, "I don't want to punish him, but..." Also he called me Mrs., which got my hackles up. Respect shown to women should not be qualified by apparent age or martial marital status; I always use Ms. and have come to expect the same from others. However, this is the first time Will has had a male teacher and I don't want to antagonize him by going Full Metal Feminist on his ass... at least, not immediately.

So I spent 3-4 hours this afternoon problem-solving with Will and writing emails to the social studies teacher and the IEP aide. Then I went to bed early because fuck this. Of course now I'm awake again, but hopefully not for long.
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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 01:54 am
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 08:11 am
Last night was open house at the middle school and it was So. Stressful.

We had to bring our child's class schedule with us and attempt to navigate to each period's classroom in turn, in an unfamiliar building, with only 4 minutes between presentations that only lasted 7 minutes. Of the six classrooms I visited, only two had handouts with contact info. It felt like sorority rush. "Nice to meet you, bye!"

I had also hoped to meet Will's new IEP aide, who had said in an email that she would be attending, but haha of course that didn't happen. I still don't know when and how often he is receiving her assistance.

I did learn a few things:

Read more... )

In summary: I am probably struggling more than Will is right now, and as long as he's doing well, I should try to relax a bit. I'm very annoyed about having to check each individual teacher's web page, though. The intermediate school also had teacher web pages, but everything important was communicated in emails and handouts.

Update: Now Will tells me he is meeting with his IEP aide before MWF lunch, and other times as needed, but she is not providing in-class assistance.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 07:33 am
Unless I missed tagging something, this is my first meme participation in 5 years... but I think that's because memes aren't as common as they used to be?

1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth?

Because Mark asked me to get involved, about 6 weeks before open beta happened, IIRC. I had Perl experience and a lot of free time, and the rest is history.

2. Why did you choose your journal name?

Ancient history: Kareila is a name I first used for an RP character in high school. Sometime during my sophomore year of college, I was invited to join a social MUSH, and that's the username I decided to use. It's been my primary online identity ever since.

3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not?

I still crosspost for the benefit of my few remaining loyal LJ readers, but all my crossposts are locked there, even if they're public here.

4. What do you do online when you're not on DW?

Email, Twitter, and Facebook. Streaming music and YouTube. The occasional online game.

5. How about when you're not on the computer?

Reading books, watching sports, playing console games, hanging out with loved ones, or sleeping.

6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you?

After all this time, I have no idea what my readers might not already know about me, especially the ones who have met me RL (most of you).

7. What is your favorite community on Dreamwidth?

Probably [community profile] dwqdb. I'm also very fond of [community profile] kareila_books and [community profile] changelog_digest, but I'm biased in that regard.

8. What community do you wish was more active?

I'm going to say [site community profile] dw_dev even though that's sort of cheating.

9. Are there two people on your reading list that you think should meet?

If I had to choose just two that I don't think have met already, I'd go with [personal profile] azurelunatic and [personal profile] siderea.

10. Tell me about your default icon.

Many of my icons are TV/movie/cartoon characters that I strongly identify with. My default icon for some time has been Sam Sparks from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I've kept that as default for several years now because I particularly like how it looks with my journal theme.

11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently?

As one of the lead devs I find it uniquely hard to answer this question. At this point, if a feature doesn't already exist, it's because either I don't personally want it or else it's Too Much Work. (Or possibly a Work In Progress.)

12. What do you consider the five most "telling" interests from the list on your profile?

My interest list has been woefully neglected since LJ days and could stand to be updated, but from what currently exists: ChaoticMUX (the social game I ran for several years before everyone emigrated to LJ), choral music (I sing a lot), geophysics (my college major), INFP (my MBTI classification, which I find helpful when debugging interpersonal interactions), & xyzzy (reflecting my early love of text-based games). "Entropy" and "wishes" are also ChaoticMUX references.

13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there?

I used to, but I don't any more - careful inspection of my LJ profile reveals that I removed 2 unique interests from my DW profile (they weren't unique on LJ). "Games Magazine" which I still subscribe to, and "Digital Blasphemy" which is a CGI wallpaper artist I used to patronize.

14. Did you have a gateway fandom? Still in it? Why or why not? Is there a community for it on DW?

I suppose my gateway fandom was Monty Python, in the sense that it led me to alt.fan.monty-python in the pre-WWW days, and that led to my friendship with [personal profile] hkellick which led to ChaoticMUX which led to everything else. I left that particular newsgroup a few years later, but I'm still a fan, as evidenced by that ficlet I posted the other day. Teenage exposure to Monty Python and Douglas Adams gave me the "yes, this is all really ridiculous" perspective I needed for my mental health, and I'm completely inseparable from their influence. I don't think there is a DW community dedicated to Monty Python, but since they haven't done much new original work in the past 30 years, I don't consider it an oversight.

15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination?

My previous post already covered this.

16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?

Recently? Uh... (thinks)... last week I watched the first three episodes of Mr. Robot. I don't manage to watch a lot of scripted TV, mostly just sports and competitions, so that was kind of a big deal. Also, the usual suspects have been doing a sporadic Bond Roulette, viewing (and mocking) all the James Bond movies in random order; we just passed the halfway point when we watched Skyfall on Saturday night. There's one other thing I did recently that I haven't written about yet, but that's redacted until the end of the month.

17. How many people on your reading list do you know IRL?

Just going off my access list: 49/58, but that doesn't correct for duplicate accounts. Still: most of you. For my entire subscription list, it's closer to 50/50.

18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?

Assuming I have the energy, the only things in my life I try to avoid talking about are my personal relationships with others except in the most general terms. If they're not reading, it's talking behind their back; if they are, it can devolve into he said/she said when there's any disagreement. Occasionally I need to make a mental health exception, but as a rule I try to avoid it.

19. Any questions from the audience?

I don't know, are there?

20. Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi?

I don't have any? I mean, I know what it is, but I don't swing that way. Yuri, maybe. It's been years since I consumed any anime or manga on a regular basis, though.

21. What's your favorite thing about Dreamwidth?

The people. Honestly, that's my favorite thing about pretty much everything I love.
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 03:15 am

Posted by karen

Underwear, when new, can be a bright glaring white.  I’m working on a costume that requires the underwear to look old and worn, and it was suggested that I dye it with tea.  This is not something I have done before so I bought a test garment, in the same fabric, and tried aging it yesterday afternoon.

I have read many online articles about this process and a chapter on dyeing materials in a text book.  All they really told me is that you use tea and water.  There is no way to know what colour the end product will look like, which is not good when you only have one costume and you can’t get another one if you mess up.  Everyone uses different tea, different amounts of tea, they are vague about the amount of water they use, or how long it will take.  Do you use salt in the water?  Does the garment need rinsed or washed first?  Do you add vinegar at the end?

I bought a black lipton tea and put four teabags and 3 litres of hot water in a large basin.  I added a teaspoon of salt.  I removed the tea bags after five minutes and then added the garment, which I had rinsed in warm water.  I let it steep in the solution for one hour and then removed it and rinsed it in warm water.  The garment certainly dyed but I didn’t like how it looked.  It’s much browner than I wanted and I think that the brown almost has a pinkish tinge to it.  The colour is also patchy, which makes me think that I will need to stir it during the dyeing process to try to get a more even colour.  Or I need a bigger container to dye it in, but I don’t think I have one.

Before and After Colours

Before and After Colours

Today I’m going to test strips of white cotton with a different tea solutions to see if I can get close to the colour I want.   I completely understand now why people use bottled dyes that mimic this process as at least then you will have clear instructions on how to use the product and a much clearer idea of the expected outcome.  I realise that my garment is not the same as a strip of cotton, but it’s the best I can do.

Friday, August 19th, 2016 12:31 pm
I've seen this sketch many times, but I only just realised that the judge is Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor from Dr Who).

Some of the gameshows are largely forgotten:
1) What's My Line? (guess someone's job)
2) Mastermind (rapid-fire questions on a subject)
3) Call My Bluff (guess the definition of an obscure word)
4) Blankety-Blank (guess what word someone else used to complete a sentence)
5) Give Us A Clue (charades)
6) It's A Knockout ("play your joker" in a round to double your points)
7) The Price Is Right ("come on down!")

Gaffes:
1) the judge is wearing a barrister's wig
2) no judge in England uses a gavel
3) the defendant is standing in the witness box
4) lawyers don't walk around the courtroom
5) er, court trials don't include gameshow references.

Thursday, August 18th, 2016 05:28 am

Posted by karen

We took a day trip to Gunma Prefecture to visit a lavender park. I was really impressed with what frozen things do in summer.

Tambara Lavender Park, Ski Slope in Summer

Tambara Lavender Park, Ski Slope in Summer

Tambara Lavender Park

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 01:34 am

Posted by karen

A few unexpected things have happened this month that have taken me away from my computer.  Now that I’m trying to get back to a routine I’m having problems with a tooth.  I went to the dentist with a crack in a back molar that will take 5 visits to the dentist to fix.  I haven’t met a person who likes having dental work done so you won’t be surprised when I say that I’m not enjoying it.  At least I’m being given strong painkillers.

I have been getting more involved with English theatre in Tokyo over the past year.  Black Stripe Theater is putting on The Dresser, by Ronald Harwood, in September and I’m working on the costumes for that.  Tokyo is not the easiest place to find clothing suitable for a play set in 1941 in Britain, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 09:26 am
I accidentally a fanfic: http://archiveofourown.org/works/7786459

In other news, I now have an AO3 account - yay?
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Friday, August 12th, 2016 07:29 pm
The small fanperson is watching Animaniacs, and when the credits reached, "Bill Clinton plays the sax," her response was, "Wait: that's Hillary's husband."

Yes. Yes, it is.

From [personal profile] cereta here.
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 11:39 am
Late yesterday I noticed some tweets referencing #7FaveGames and I would love to do a retrospective of some of my favorite computer/video games, but I'm not sure I can limit it to even 7 platforms, let alone games, and there's no way I can do it justice in a tweet.

The earliest home game platform I can remember owning is an Atari 2600. I remember being really annoyed that Atari's Pac-Man didn't look anything like the arcade version. I played a lot of Frogger and got pretty good at it. I actually liked the widely reviled E.T. game.

When I was in third or fourth grade, I was taught how to program in LOGO and Basic on Apple II computers. We also played games like Oregon Trail, Lemonade Stand, Carmen Sandiego, and such. I loved it so much that I begged my parents for an Apple IIc, but instead my grandparents gave me a Commodore 64. I never did get any guidance on how to program on the C64, but my uncle gave me a bunch of games of dubious provenance. My favorites were Space Taxi, Jumpman, Pogo Joe, Impossible Mission II, and Adventure.

At some point we also got an original Nintendo system. I remember spending a lot of time playing Tetris, but my favorite Nintendo game by far was Super Mario Bros 3.

When I was in high school, I did finally get my Apple IIc, and had a few games for that as well. My favorites were Bard's Tale 3: Thief of Fate, Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Infocom's adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I also borrowed a lot of time on friends' PCs, tried to work my way through Might & Magic 3: Isles of Terra, and played a ton of Minesweeper.

My sophomore year of college, I got my first Windows (3.1) machine. In retrospect it's astonishing that I found any time for games, but I did complete the two Monty Python games (Flying Circus and Holy Grail), Timequest, and Starship Titanic. I also remember playing some of Companions of Xanth, Shannara, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, some of the Monkey Island games, and the other Might & Magic sequels. In grad school, I got a Windows 98 laptop and I can remember playing open-ended games like the Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and You Don't Know Jack on that machine. I think I first played Myst and Riven around then as well.

Finally, in 2002, I bought a Playstation 2, my first dedicated game console since the NES. The reason I purchased it was to play Dance Dance Revolution, but eventually I wanted to try my hand at other games, and that's how I ended up getting obsessed with Kingdom Hearts. My friends convinced me that I needed to play Chrono Trigger, and I loved that one too. I also spent a lot of time on Dark Cloud 2 and Final Fantasy X, but got stuck at the end of both of them.

I think 2005 is when LEGO Star Wars came out. Since then LEGO and Kingdom Hearts games have been pretty much all that I play, with a few minor exceptions. We got a Wii in... 2009, I think, and I really enjoyed Super Paper Mario and A Boy And His Blob. I'm pretty good at Mario Kart, too.

And let's not forget the iPad and mobile games. My kids spend tons of time on these, but I am not immune. I absolutely adore Monument Valley, and there's hardly a night I don't incorporate a digital sudoku puzzle into my bedtime routine.

Out of all that, how am I supposed to pick just 7 all-time favorites? The ones I've replayed the most from beginning to end are Kingdom Hearts 1&2 and the LEGO games: Star Wars, Batman, Marvel Heroes, Harry Potter, LotR. But I also spent years exercising with DDR and goofing off with Sims. And technically, ChaoticMUX - the online platform where I spent countless hours chatting with online friends and learning about functional programming - was a game, without a doubt the most significant game of my life.

Playing some games is like reading a book or watching a movie. Others are tests of reflexes, logic, or knowledge. In the end, my favorite games are all unique, beloved experiences, and I just can't quantify them.

(If you read all the way through this and thought to yourself, "I can't believe she hasn't played [X]," let me know what your value of X is.)
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 07:57 am
The first few days of school have been survived. Connor seems upbeat; Will is managing. I still don't have a good sense of what's going on, but there are parent meetings scheduled for the last week of August, so I will try to hold my questions until then.

Now that the kids are back in school, my mom is asking for more of my time. Yesterday I went over and (finally) helped her get started on the laptop I gave her at Christmas, and then at lunch we ran into my uncle K, who I hadn't seen since my grandfather's funeral. He's in a really bad place right now, unfortunately - major health issues. Still, it was good to see him. Anyway, that took up most of the day. Then last night she sent me a text asking if I wanted to help her look at new cars today. I think she wants the same car I got, just in a different color.

Heather got us free passes to go see an advance screening of Florence Foster Jenkins on Tuesday night. Not a movie I could bear to watch repeatedly, but a movie well worth watching. Do they give Oscars to vocal coaches?

Our church choir rehearsals were scheduled to start back last night, but I was so tired that I fell asleep sitting up while watching the Olympics. I don't have the rehearsal schedule for symphony chorus yet, but the rumor is that we're not going to start back until after Labor Day, since our first concert isn't until mid-December.

The weather for the past several days has been muggy and miserable. I am ready for things to start cooling off a bit.